To support HS2's strategic legacy for providing employment opportunities for local communities and people from disadvantaged and under-represented groups, it handed over the keys to its new Euston Skills Centre to London's Camden Council.
The skills centre is situated in the construction accommodation building, which is on the site of an old school and looks out onto the site of the proposed new HS2 station.
HS2 is contributing £4.1 million towards the delivery and running costs of the centre, but its operation will exclusively be under control of Camden Council, and will also support the needs for a workforce for other infrastructure and housing in the borough.
Workshop spaces are located on the ground floor, and classroom facilities are provided on the first floor.
The workshop spaces include include a large covered outdoor workshop for teaching blockwork, carpentry, and wet trades. Where possible, HS2's station construction partner, Mace Dragados joint venture (MDjv), has tried to keep utility services and systems exposed provide a learning aid for students.
Speaking about the handover of the Euston Skills Centre, HS2's Euston Client Director, Andy Swift, said: “HS2 has delivered on its commitment to provide a brand new facility for Camden which will provide training opportunities for local people across the borough. Our contractor, Mace Dragados JV, have expertly constructed a centre which will serve as an educational hub in an area where we expect many career opportunities in construction and infrastructure.”
Jason Millett, Director on behalf of the Mace Dragados Joint Venture, said: “It is important to us as a joint venture that the work we do at Euston benefits the local community; and the opening of this new skills centre will support people in Camden to develop their skills – as well as providing economic benefits, broadening the access to skilled labour for projects being delivered across the borough. We're proud to have worked with HS2 and Camden Council on its construction, and we look forward to seeing students start to use the new facilities in the coming months.”
HS2 and MDjv in partnership with Camden is already delivering fast-track job training to help local unemployed people into a new career. One of these is Steve Boyle who through a two-week scheme gained new skills and obtained a job with Clipfine, one of MDJV's sub-contractors at Euston. Steve said: “Living locally, I have been able to see first hand the scale of change that is proposed around Euston. After hearing about training programmes to work on HS2 from the Camden Jobs and Skills Fair, I was offered the opportunity to complete a course and start a new career, even in my 50s.”